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Iowa

Jason Hall is out as CEO of troubled North Liberty company Moxie Solar

Jason Hall, CEO and proprietor of Moxie Solar, is now not with the North Liberty-based photo voltaic company after it struggled throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and its impression on the financial system.

Company lawyer Siobhan Briley of the Pugh legislation agency in Coralville, Hagan Prahm, informed Iowa City Press-Citizen that Hall is now not an worker of Moxie Solar. Briley didn’t affirm the circumstances of his departure.

According to a Press-Citizen investigation in March, it is not recognized if Hall was fired or resigned from the company he ran for greater than a decade earlier than important combating ensued, which resulted in a number of lawsuits and dozens of client complaints.

More:North Liberty’s Moxie Solar faces backlash as client complaints mount

Briley stated the company had undergone a reorganization and alter of management since January. Moxie Solar Inc. separated and shaped a separate entity, MSI Diversified Inc. on May fifth.

According to Iowa Secretary of State filings, Travis Eichelberger of Iowa City is the brand new CEO of New Moxie Solar, a company shaped June 14. Jason Hall stays President and CEO of MSI Diversified Inc.

Hall is not the one individual to have left the company in latest months. The Press-Citizen beforehand reported that shortly after refusing to run for Iowa governor in 2022, Mark Nolte, a neighborhood entrepreneur and former president of the Iowa City Area Development Group, left Moxie Solar, the was by no means realized.

North Liberty Mayor Chris Hoffman, who was vice chairman of photo voltaic gross sales at Moxie, left the company in May to work as a senior photo voltaic power guide for Eagle Point Solar in Dubuque. A company press launch stated Hoffman will cowl the Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and North Liberty hall and surrounding Iowa communities and will likely be tasked with constructing sturdy buyer relationships and educating the general public concerning the environmental and monetary advantages of photo voltaic power.

“I’m grateful for the chance to additional my profession within the photo voltaic trade with a powerful, properly established and rising company like Eagle Point Solar. The photo voltaic trade has skilled explosive development over the previous decade, and Eagle Point Solar is properly positioned to satisfy the persevering with calls for of the market whereas serving to prospects obtain their power independence objectives,” Hoffman said in the press release.

Despite management changes, reorganization and the departure of three key figures from the company, the Moxie Solar name is fueling more consumer complaints and an additional lawsuit from a large Iowa City corporation.

Axiom Consultants Sues Moxie Solar; adds to the stack of lawsuits against the company

Axiom Consultants, an engineering consulting and design firm in Iowa City, filed a lawsuit in September against MSI Diversified Inc., trading as Moxie Solar, alleging that the solar company failed to make full payments for the services Axiom provided, including structural ones Support products and electrical line appraisals totaling $42,605 between July 2021 and April 2022.

Axiom alleges in its lawsuit that the solar company failed to respond when it requested payment in full or in increments of $5,000 plus interest on or before September 15, 2022. The company also never made any payment, Axiom claims.

The lawsuit is for breach of contract and unjust enrichment. Axiom has requested a jury trial.

In a response to the lawsuit, Moxie Solar’s attorneys denied any wrongdoing. They said Axiom did not file a claim for which a remedy could be granted and held Axiom responsible for any injury or damage.

Axiom Consultants’ attorneys couldn’t be reached for remark.

Axiom’s alleged conduct follows a sample alleged in one other courtroom case, dozens of client complaints filed with the Iowa Attorney’s Office, and unfavourable buyer critiques. Moxie Solar’s A+ score has been revoked by the Better Business Bureau.

The lawsuits, complaints and reviews allege that Moxie Solar did not complete its services in 2021 when the company faced difficulties during the pandemic, then left its customers in the dark for months, despite many already paying thousands of dollars to Moxie Solar had paid.

A civil suit brought by North Liberty’s Josh and Mackenzie Bates is scheduled to go to trial in September 2023. Moxie Solar is fighting this lawsuit and has changed attorneys twice. Briley now represents the company.

Consumer complaints to the Iowa Attorney General have nearly tripled for Moxie Solar since March

Moxie Solar’s problems aren’t unique among solar companies, the Iowa Capital Dispatch reported earlier this year. From 2019 to 2021, 15 complaints about solar energy systems were filed with the Consumer Protection Department of Iowa AG.

The Press-Citizen reported in March that nine complaints about Moxie Solar were filed with Iowa AG alone. Between late March and August 29, 22 additional complaints were filed against Moxie Solar, for a total of 31.

They come from Iowa, Virginia, Illinois, Wisconsin, New Mexico, California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Idaho and Minnesota.

Customers claim they paid Moxie Solar between $871 and $117,000 for services. Most paid the company more than $15,000. A common theme: Having already made thousands of dollars in payments, customers said Moxie Solar hasn’t shared why their projects aren’t progressing.

New complaints also show that customers have had problems after installing the modules that Moxie Solar hasn’t solved for months.

Some of the complaints cited the Press-Citizen investigation.

One buyer, Bruce Thayer of Iowa City, wrote in a grievance that he signed a contract with Moxie Solar on March 19, 2021 and paid the company a $17,136 deposit to start engineering design. That was executed, and Thayer then made an extra, similar cost.

“At that time, nothing in any respect had been executed on the bottom by Moxie. And that is the place it stays right this moment, 18 months after signing the contract,” Thayer said in the filing.

Thayer said there have been “lengthy intervals of silence” and that Moxie has not sent any status updates or communications. He hired an attorney and sent a letter to Moxie Solar’s CEO, which also went unanswered, Thayer said.

Thayer said if Moxie continues to abandon the project, he will have to start over the engineering with a new contractor. He said the only satisfactory outcome would be for Moxie Solar to complete the installation or issue a refund.

There are some signs that Moxie Solar could be headed for a recovery under new leadership

Despite the clear signs that Moxie Solar has continued to struggle as a company over the past few months, there are signs the company is working on a recovery.

Its Better Business Bureau profile includes two warnings, one that its BBB accreditation was revoked in March and the other alerting customers to a “sample of complaints.”

But under the second warning, it also says that starting in September, Moxie Solar will be working with the BBB to resolve previously unaddressed grievances. Moxie Solar has a rating of 1.43 stars out of 5. One hundred of its 107 complaints were filed with the BBB in the last year.

And no one has filed a consumer complaint against Moxie Solar with Iowa AG for at least two months.

The company is very active on social media, encouraging private and rural homeowners to invest in solar energy. It promoted a savings plan on Facebook this summer that would encourage homeowners to consider solar panels to help combat rising energy bills.

George Shillcock is Press-Citizen’s local government and development reporter for Iowa City and Johnson County. He can be reached at (515) 350-6307, [email protected] and on Twitter @ShillcockGeorge

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